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Andersen leads Ducks past Canucks

by Kevin Woodley /

VANCOUVER -- The Anaheim Ducks eased Frederik Andersen back into action after the All-Star break, making it easy for the goaltender to pick right up where he left off.

Matt Beleskey, Kyle Palmieri, Rickard Rakell and Patrick Maroon all scored, and Andersen made 17 saves for his third shutout this season to lead the Ducks to a 4-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Tuesday.

"They didn't really have anything noticeable," Andersen said of the Canucks. "They made it really easy on me today. It's a nice game to come back to after a little bit of a break. We had the puck in their zone most of the time and they didn't really have any chances off the rebounds. They were able to clear it out for me and make it easy."

It was Andersen's seventh straight victory and the sixth in a row for the Ducks (32-10-6), who became the first NHL team to reach 70 points.

"We just want to go with the same pace we have been and keep showing we are among the very best teams in this League," Andersen said.

With scoring from three lines and tight defense, Anaheim looked every bit a League leader against the Canucks.

"We definitely started right where we left off," Ducks center Ryan Kesler said. "You are a little worried about that coming back from the break but I thought we played a full 60 minutes."

Beleskey opened the scoring with a fluttering slap shot that bounced into the net off the glove of Ryan Miller with 6:17 left in the first period. Andersen started the play that led to Palmieri's power-play goal after a wild sequence 7:19 into the second period.

Andersen outwaited fellow Dane Jannik Hansen, who lost the puck on a shorthanded breakaway, and the goalie moved the loose puck to Rakell before being knocked over by Hansen. As Andersen skated off on the delayed penalty to Hansen, Palmieri raced down the ice and surprised Miller with a 25-foot shot between the legs.

"That was awesome to see," Andersen said. "Instant karma I guess."

Miller finished with 20 saves for the Canucks (26-17-3), but didn't look good on the first two goals. Beleskey's slap shot of a rolling puck from the top of the left circle deflected in off his glove after dipping and fluttering on its way to the net. Miller also dropped awkwardly and late to one knee, using a technique normally reserved for sharp-angle shots, when Palmieri's shot went between his legs off the rush.

"It was a disappointing game," Miller said. "A couple errors on my part or else maybe we get some confidence and they don't get to play the game where they can just kind of sit back at times. They might have to push a little more and that opens things up."

The Canucks' struggling offense could use a game like that.

Vancouver was shut out for the second straight home game - there was a five-game road trip in-between. The Canucks were outshot 7-2 in the second period and 8-5 in the third.

"We never seemed to get the Grade-A chances," captain Henrik Sedin said. "We weren't good enough, that's the bottom line."

Rakell, who also had an assist, made it 3-0 on another rush midway through the third period. His shot from just inside the blue line hit the stick of Canucks defenseman Frank Corrado, who was taking the place of injured Kevin Bieksa, and went over Miller's blocker.

After a couple near-misses earlier in the game, Rakell was happy to see the puck go in, especially with his father visiting from Sweden to see him play live in the NHL for the first time.

"It was my dad's first NHL game. It was special to me but it's even more special to him," Rakell said. "I thought my line played pretty well tonight. We had a lot of scoring chances. I had a couple of chances before that. If I get a lucky bounce I will take it."

Maroon hit the empty net with 31.9 seconds left.

"It's not just one or two lines," Kesler said of the Ducks' scoring depth, "It's three or four lines."

The Canucks, who are rolling four lines under first-year coach Willie Desjardins, were getting similar contributions earlier this season, but the scoring has dried up, especially at home.

"Not good enough at all," Henrik Sedin said. "If we're a team that's going to roll four lines we need everyone to contribute and we're not getting that right now."

Andersen made his best stops in the first period, sliding across to get in front of a backdoor pass off the body of Henrik Sedin nine minutes in, and gloving down Daniel Sedin's one-timer with six minutes left.

Andersen got a break when former Ducks center Nick Bonino hit the post midway through the second period. He preserved his third career shutout with a nice glove on Hansen with eight minutes left, but the Canucks know they didn't test him enough.

"They play well defensively. That's this conference; there's no easy games," Henrik Sedin said. "We're coming down the stretch now and everyone's going to play this way. We have to bear down. I don't think we were hard enough on pucks. We lost too many battles."

Vancouver also lost forward Derek Dorsett, who left early in the second period after getting hit in the head during a collision with Kesler. Dorsett did not return, but Kesler, who was not penalized on the play, wasn't worried about supplemental discipline because he never saw Dorsett.

"All I know is I was going for the puck and I felt him hit," Kesler said. "I hope he's all right. It's a fast game out there. I was just going for the puck, trying to make a hockey play. I didn't even see him I just saw the puck and he kind of ran into me. It wasn't malicious at all."

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